I don't normally go for younger men, so it came as a bit of a shock when I ended up going home with Craig, a gorgeous 22-year-old bartender who I've flirted with on occasion.
The night started at a Shoreditch bar, where I was griping to Victoria about my on-off relationship with Paul. I poured my heart out to Craig, while he consoled me by pouring straight Southern Comfort. "This drink reminds me of high school," I told Victoria. "How appropriate," she giggled. "He looks about 16!"
After she left, he leaned over the bar and kissed me. "I've fancied you for ages, and I want you to come home with me," he said. "My ride is outside." I assumed he meant a taxi, but he wanted me to ride on his bike's handlebars. It was freezing, but he had a lean and muscled torso. The choice was easy.
Back at his flat, we kissed for hours, mixed drinks and headed upstairs. He kept his trousers on, but insisted on spending an hour pleasing me. Despite his age, the boy had some serious skills.
In my post-orgasm blissed-out state, I started to think I should reserve judgment on the age difference. I've met many 40-year-old men with Peter Pan syndrome, so I know that older isn't necessarily wiser. But in the harsh light of day, the gulf between our lifestyles became more apparent.
I went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, only to discover a half-naked man assembling a bacon sandwich. (He'd neglected to mention that he shares the place with three friends. God only knows what they might have heard.)
He invited me back to the bar the next night, which is when I realised that dating a bartender is the female equivalent of dating a stripper: Craig is constantly surrounded by a roomful of sweaty punters, all clutching money and begging for his attention. He admits that women throw themselves at him, and at the end of every night he cleans phone numbers, mostly scribbled on coasters, out of his pockets.
"I think we should go out on a real date," he said when he finished his shift. I was happy to leave our dalliance as a one-night stand, but he seemed so sweet that I agreed. After all, I wouldn't want to be accused of age discrimination.
Over dinner, there was a serious lull in conversation, and I realised that our dialogue so far had been limited to shouting at each other over crowds. So I suggested that we head back to his place, where he took me upstairs and told me that he had a "surprise" for me.
Then he reached into a drawer and pulled out a giant orange vibrator. " My ex-girlfriend used to love this one," he said, "it was her favourite!" I was dressed and out of there in less than 90 seconds.
At the bar, Craig was master of his domain, which is probably what attracted me to him in the first place. He's sweet, but when it comes to sexual etiquette, and hygiene in general, he's clueless. He keeps leaving me messages, but I still don't have the heart to tell Craig the real reason why I bolted. But the next time I see him, I'll leave a big tip.